Whether you are adding a new fireplace or remodeling a room with a fireplace, consider buying and restoring an old or antique fireplace mantel. You will save money on the purchase and on the labor to install it. You will also stand a very good chance of finding a mantel with added character and design. Restoring a mantel will be fun, and you will be able to achieve a perfect match with the rest of the room. An experienced do-it-yourselfer can probably install a mantel. I have seen many beautiful mantels in antique stores, at flea markets, and at auctions and other used material stores. A little time spent stripping off paint or an old finish and re-finishing to your liking can add not only a well-built mantel, but also a focal point or conversation piece in your home.

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